Franklin Co.: Gun Bill Would Hurt Efforts to Curb Meth, Heroin, Lead to Shorter Sentences

See also: Jon Alexander, Missouri Liquor Store Clerk, Veteran, Pulls Gun on Armed Robber (VIDEO)

Some supporters of the legislation argue that Missouri should just enforce state laws and not (potentially unconstitutional) federal ones, but Toelke points out that "there are a lot of federal laws that aren't included in state statute that give us some leverage in what we can do."

1-Methamphetamine.jpg
Psychonaught
Methamphetamine.

"I think the legislature didn't realize," he continues. "[that] the bill maybe looks good to some, but it's when you get out in the field...that you start to see the problems."

The law, he argues, would also "open the floodgates" for lawsuits against police. And until case law is established in this uncharted territory, it'll be very problematic.

"It's just going to subject us to unnecessary lawsuits," he says.

Federal officers would be wary about doing their job when local sheriffs seek their assistance, he adds. "They are not going to want to take the chance."

gov-jay-nixon-press-photo.jpg
via governor.mo.gov
Gov. Jay Nixon.

"Our local federal agents have really been great to us," he says. "They've always been here to help when we need them."

Last week, in one of several somewhat surprising announcements of opposition, the Missouri Sheriffs' Association urged lawmakers not to override the veto.

That statement, which Toelke provided to us, says that some of the language of the bill "violates the sheriff's oath of office" and carries "unintended consequences."

Here's the full statement.

2013-09-09 Sheriff's Association

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin.



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